I don’t know about you… but when I think of tea, I prefer herbal teas like Chamomile or true teas like green tea. I certainly don’t immediately think of turmeric, but this earthy golden spice is the base of an age-old remedy called Golden Milk or Turmeric Tea.
It takes a little getting used to, but this unusual tea is a staple in our house in the winter. I love to use it in cooking and as an herbal remedy. Especially this time of year, turmeric is a staple at our home for avoiding illness and keeping our immune systems strong.
Turmeric Tea: Ancient Remedy
Turmeric may not be the first thing you think about putting in tea, but with the right mixture of spices, it is a delicious soothing remedy. This tuber is a well-known remedy for its benefits including digestion, immune function, the liver and even possible protection from some types of cancer.
This bright yellow spice contains Curcumin (up to 3% by weight), which has been well studied for its benefits. It is believed to halt an enzyme that may be responsible for turning environmental toxins into carcinogens in the body. Turmeric is a folk remedy for helping protect the body from the affects of smoking or chewing tobacco.
Curcumin may also improve digestion of fats and sugars and help alleviate inflammation in the digestive system. It is an age-old skin remedy and is even used in the mouth to help alleviate gum problems.
Of course, Turmeric can be added to foods and is a great base for many spice blends, but those who want to consume it as a remedy often turn to turmeric tea.
What is Golden Milk?
Turmeric Tea or Golden Milk is a great way to get the benefits of Turmeric daily. I love drinking this before bed because it aids relaxation and helps boost the immune system while sleeping.
The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that it is safe to cook with Turmeric while pregnant and nursing but that turmeric supplements should not be taken without a doctor’s advice. Since this tea contains Turmeric, consult with a doctor or midwife before consuming this if you are pregnant, nursing or have a medical condition.
- 2 cups of milk of choice (almond, pecan, coconut and dairy all work in this recipe)
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric (where to find it)
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon (where to find it)
- 1 teaspoon raw honey or maple syrup or to taste (optional)
- Pinch of black pepper (increases absorption)
- Tiny piece of fresh, peeled ginger root or ¼ tsp ginger powder
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- First, blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.
- Then, Pour into a small sauce pan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
- Drink immediately
How to Make a Dry Turmeric Tea Mix
If you’d rather not mix up the spices each time, you can easily make a mixture of the spices and just add to warmed milk when ready.
- 1/2 cup turmeric powder
- 1/4 cup cinnamon powder
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1-2 Tablespoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne (optional)
Then, just add 2 teaspoons of this mix to 2 cups of milk of choice for a faster recipe.
Or, Make Turmeric Paste
Another reader, Rose, also shared this variation:
1/2 cup organic turmeric powder
1/2 cup clean water (no fluoride)
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5 Tablespoons virgin coconut oil
In a stainless steel pot cook together: Water, turmeric and black pepper until it forms a thick paste, stir and cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add virgin coconut oil, using a whisk to fully mix in the coconut oil. Finally, transfer to a glass jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.
1 tsp. Golden Paste
2 cups Almond Milk or Coconut Milk
1/8 teaspoon Vanilla (Optional)
Molasses to taste.
Pinch cinnamon (Optional)
In a stainless steel pot-gently heat, but do not boil, milk with 1 teaspoon paste. Use whisk
Add molasses and vanilla and cinnamon to taste.
Turmeric Tea FAQs
This recipe has gained popularity over the years and I’ve received a few (hundred) questions about it. I created this list of commonly asked questions to address the most-asked ones:
Can I make this with almond/pecan/dairy milk?
Absolutely! I mix it up and make it with any mixture of these. It won’t be as creamy, but you can even make this recipe with plain water instead of any milk at all. Bone broth is another great option for the base and you can omit the sweetener if you use broth. If you don’t use milk or broth, consider adding a tiny amount of some kind of fat (like butter or coconut oil) as it increases absorption.
Feeling really brave? Try using Camel milk instead! Several readers also mentioned adding to their morning coffee….
Where do You Get Turmeric?
I always order turmeric in bulk because I use it in many spice blends, in beauty recipes and to make this tea. Look for one that is organic, non-irradiated and that contains curcumin. I personally have ordered this one on Amazon (great price and shipping) and this one from Mountain Rose Herbs (cheaper but shipping is more).
What if I Don’t like Turmeric/Pepper/tea?
This might still be worth a try, as it doesn’t taste like any of those. The black pepper is important to this recipe since it contains Piperine, a compound known to increase the benefits of turmeric. To get the full benefits of this tea, you need:
- Pepper (tiny amount)
- Some kind of fat for absorption
Can I Omit the Honey/Maple Syrup?
Of course. I find that it helps mellow out the strong flavor of the turmeric, but it is not necessary. You can also use blood sugar friendly stevia or nutrient rich blackstrap molasses to get the benefits.
Is there another way to get the benefits?
Sure! But this is the most tasty, in my opinion. If you aren’t into tea or don’t want to take the time to drink it, just add the ingredients to any food or take alone. For instance, throw some turmeric and black pepper and olive oil on some roasted veggies to accomplish the same thing. One brave reader mentioned that she just makes a paste of turmeric and avocado oil and swallows it with 2 whole peppercorns.
I Have ____ Health Condition or am Pregnant/Nursing. Can I Drink This?
I always recommend talking with a doctor before consuming any natural remedy. Some sources say that this is fine since it only contains culinary amounts, but there are contraindications for those with certain conditions or on certain medications. There are sources that say it should be avoided by those with autoimmune issues and others that say it helped autoimmune issues. Talk to someone who knows your situation before making a decision.
Can Kids Drink this Tea?
I give small amounts to my kids. Turmeric is a spice after all! They love the taste and love to help make it, but check with your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns before drinking this.
This Stained my Counter/Blender/Cup. What do I do?
I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the stains aren’t harmful and will fade over time. The bad news is that it will take some time.
Can I Make a Big Batch and Keep in the Fridge?
Sure! I’ve made up to half a gallon and kept in the fridge. I find I enjoy it cold too, but it can also be reheated in a small saucepan.
Can I Use Fresh Turmeric Root?
Yes! It isn’t often available where we live so I stick with dry, but you can grate a 1-inch piece of fresh turmeric root into the recipe to accomplish the same thing. You may also want to strain it using a fine mesh strainer to remove any remaining pulp or pieces.
How do you use turmeric? Share your uses below!